The deaths of five dogs in the 2017 Iditarod brings the total to more than 150 who have died in the history of this race, not counting innumerable others who died during the year in kennels while kept chained up or who were killed simply because they didn’t make the cut. By continuing to sponsor this deadly race, you’re endorsing and propping up a cruel event that should be relegated to the history books.
The Iditarod’s nearly 1,000-mile course requires dogs to run about 100 miles a day for around 10 days, with very little rest. They’re subjected to biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. Their feet may become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice, and just plain worn out because of the vast distances that they cover. On average, up to half of the dogs who start the race don’t finish. Many pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, pneumonia, or bleeding stomach ulcers. Dogs have been strangled by towlines, been trampled by moose, frozen to death, or been hit by snowmobiles or sleds.
Given the grueling conditions that dogs are forced to endure, some of them may be drugged, as Iditarod officials have revealed was done to those under the care of race winner Dallas Seavey—just days before a whistleblower came forward with disturbing footage that apparently revealed dying puppies and injured, sick dogs at a kennel reportedly owned by him, where dogs are said to suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and open wounds.
The tide of public opinion has turned against the use of animals for entertainment. Please follow the lead of the many companies that have already cut ties with the Iditarod—including State Farm, Costco, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, and Wells Fargo—by ending your sponsorship of this egregiously cruel event.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.